Nationalism was an ideology that interested me in our textbook, primarily because it’s one shared by nearly everyone in our world. It is a belief system where a given individual has a deep connection with their nation. It differs from, say patriotism (which many often confuse it with), because it resonates with a passion for one’s state or country based on a love for a homeland, as opposed to a love for that country’s particular actions. Nationalism’s origins can be said to relate to our innate desire to relate to the grouping that we were placed within upon birth. It’s a want to connect to place, and to have somewhere that one fits in and feels accepted. This ideology relies heavily upon symbols as well, such us state or nation flags, anthems, and holidays. It’s also a way for people with different ideologies within a given state or country to feel unity. For example, in America we have conservatives, libertarians, democrats, feminists and so on. But most people in our nation feel a since of pride and identification in being American. However, nationalism is also something that can be abused, and also taken too seriously. Nationalism can create an illusion that their country, race, religion(s), and way of life, are all superior to everyone else. Ideas like this can lead to nations massacring other nations that are deemed inferior, much like the case with the Nazis of WWII. That, in a nutshell, is nationalism.
The article I chose to analyze is called “Putin’s Popularity Rooted in Nationalism.” It was written by Daniel Schearf, and was published in Voice of America News. It focuses on Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, and as the title suggests, it explains how nationalism is a powerful tool to gain the support of a nation. Schearf begins the article by explaining that although Russia’s economy is still in a state of decline, Putin’s popularity is regaining speed. The people of Russia feel a sense of pride, because “by standing up to the West, he has restored Russia’s status on the world stage.” (Schearf, 2014). Anti-Western regime is what drives a lot of the nationalism in Russia, and they believe they are superior. This is often the most common problem with nationalism though. This article illustrates that whether good or bad is intended, nationalism is a nearly unbeatable ideology in its capability to win over the majority of a given nation or state.
Schearf, D. (2014, November 1). Putin’s Popularity Rooted in Nationalism. Retrieved February 12, 2015, from Voice of America News. Web. http://www.voanews.com/content/analysts-say-putins-popularity-is-rooted-in-nationalism/2504876.html